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Last night I spent almost 6 hours on Twitter liveblogging the filibuster happening on the Texas State Senate floor for the people who couldn't get the livestream on YouTube to work. I hardly ever get political online, because we all know how awful people can be, and rarely do people listen to others' opinions.

It's easy to make Texas sucks jokes. Believe me, I see them every day on Tumblr, LJ, Twitter, etc. Don't think I'm not paying attention. Here's why your easy, cheap jokes hurt: you're negating people like Leticia R. San Miguel Van De Putte, a state senator who came straight from her father's funeral to support Wendy Davis, a woman who has - since 1999 - stood in support of women, children, welfare, veterans, and education, a practicing pharmacist who gave the chillingly-wonderful line, "at what point does a female senator have to raise her voice or her hand to be heard over her male colleagues in the room?" This LITERALLY brought the house down, cheers and shouting and general glee from the people in the gallery for a solid ten minutes and beyond the midnight do-or-die hour.

You're negating the hundreds of people that crammed into the gallery, four floors high, in support of Wendy Davis. The hundreds of people lined up outside the block. In Texas. In late June. People who stood outside in our heat for hours, knowing they wouldn't get inside, but wanted to be there in support. (So many people, in fact, that you could hear them chanting from the street when it was silent as can be inside the building.)

You're negating people like my friend's daughter, who left home to move to the capital for an unpaid job simply because she and her friends want to knock on doors in order to turn this state blue.

You're negating people like Wendy Davis, a single mom at 19 who pulled herself up by her own bootstraps and from a community college's paralegal program, graduated top of her class at TCU and then went on to graduate with honors from from Harvard Law. And came back to Texas to help fight for people's rights. I watched the majority of her filibuster, and this woman gave her arguments at the back half of the 13 hours straight from her own viewpoints.

If you're not familiar with what a filibuster is, it's a time filler. You ramble and go for hours, not sitting down, not drinking or eating and leaving for any reason. Except in Texas, the rules are tougher than in Washington. You actually have to stay on topic, so no rambling vacation stories. (That's what that whole "is this germane?" argument was about.)

At one point she required a back brace worn, and one of her colleagues, the lovely state senator from Arlington, Sen. West, reached out to push on the device as she strapped it in place, because we live in Texas, and people do shit like that for other people. That was a strike against her, because you're not supposed to get help from anyone, physically.

Almost every single senator that was a person of color (and we have them, more every election, better representing the actual Texas landscape - the one hold back was the senator from Brownsville, very Roman Catholic) stood and argued in her defense, argued for what Sen. Davis was fighting for: a woman's right to her own body. She wasn't speaking into a vacuum, she had full support from her constituents, from many of her colleagues, and most definitely from the filled-to-bursting gallery and folks gathered in orange shirts outside.

The white men that tried to shut her down (and almost did) are representative of what's happening in the United States as a whole: a small group of white, Christian males have power and are afraid as they feel it slowly slipping from their fingers. This is not unique to Texas.

What is unique to Texas is that their hold was visibly yanked from their fingers. What is unique is that hundreds of thousands of people watched a group of scared, angry men try and pull one over on a lady. What is unique is that one of the arguments against them was how ungentlemanly that was, how unprofessional. AND IT WORKED.

The squeaky wheel has been getting the grease for a while. Last night you witnessed the other wheels shouting, "HEY, US TOO." That happened in my home state, the home of Molly Ivins (who I aspire to be half as clever and funny as) and Ann Richards. The home of Wendy Davis.

The landscape politically is changing, and last night you just watched Texas Spring. So keep your demeaning, belittling jokes about how backwards we are to yourself, because the majority of Texans don't side with the BS politics that have dominated the landscape. You're ignoring things like Wendy Davis standing for thirteen hours so women can stay out of jail for going to their personal doctor after having an abortion (something slipped in the bill).

I'm not asking you to move here. But understand why I'm going to think you're a jackass if you continue to go for the cheap Texas joke. Last night was nothing cheap, and don't you dare keep treating those of us who are trying to change things like we don't count.

ETA: and in case you didn't see, the bill WAS DEFEATED. Dewhurst (a jackass) admitted defeat just before 2am. And now I'm crawling back into bed. DOMA & Prop 8 DEFEATED/STRUCK DOWN, TOO!! Hot damn, what a great day to be pro-democracy!

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( 63 comments — Leave a comment )
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turnonmyheels
Jun. 26th, 2013 05:58 pm (UTC)
It's so nice to not be ashamed of my government.

It's so fucking AMAZING to see what Wendy did [yes, I tuned in for a while] to see and HEAR the voices of the actual public cheering her on.

It's so fucking AMAZING to me to see politicians do their job to stand up for the people they represent and STAND UP for what is right.
overnighter
Jun. 26th, 2013 06:03 pm (UTC)
I followed you on Twitter last night, and was so grateful to have a real-time accounting as my livestream dipped in and out. I was so moved and encouraged by what happened in Texas last night, and by Wendy Davis and her story. Molly Ivins is one of my heroes, and Texas has a long tradition of bad-ass, kickass women like her and Ann Richards. You certainly upheld that tradition.

On a day that started so discouragingly, the last 24 hours have been a whirlwind. I hope this is a start of a groundswell movement, in Texas and elsewhere. I've lived in states both liberal and conservative, and everywhere there are people working so hard to secure their own rights and the rights of others. I think it's even more awesome when people stand up and find other like-minded people when they're in a distinct minority, and when they're fighting against not only the tide of their community but of the presumptions of others from more liberal places.

I'm just so emotional today.
rikibeth
Jun. 26th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
I'm proud to be a member of the human race that has Wendy Davis in it. What she did is AMAZING, and the other folks who stepped up to help her are ALSO amazing.

I'm ashamed to be a member of the human race that contains the jackholes who passed restrictive voting legislation TWO HOURS after the Supreme Court struck down the relevant section of the Voting Rights Act.

Both those things happened in Texas... yesterday. Some other day, an awesome and a horrible thing could both happen somewhere else.

But I'm really glad there's something to celebrate. (And DOMA and Prop. 8, too! Some days it's not so bleak after all.)
secondalto
Jun. 26th, 2013 06:15 pm (UTC)
I was following you tweet last night because you had more information than the so called "traditional" media outlets. *cough*CNN*cough*

My 4yo daughter woke up from the T-storms we had here in OH and she sat on my lap for a bit while I told her about all of the awesome women from Texas who were helping to fight for her rights.

God bless Texas. *offers you cheers and wine*
bdbdb
Jun. 26th, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
I love this. And you. (But I hope you knew that last part already.)
setauuta
Jun. 26th, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
So impressed with Senator Davis and her allies last night. I live in what is frequently referred to a a liberal Mecca (western Washington state), and it can be really hard to deal with the folks who will look at something like SB5 and shrug and say, "Well, it's Texas, what do you expect?" What I expect is that there are plenty of people who want to fight for equality, just like every other state in the blessed union. What we got was an example of just how awesome the people willing to fight are, and just how hard they're willing to fight.

In short, well done, Texas. :)
judetwee
Jun. 26th, 2013 07:13 pm (UTC)
Fist bump, fellow Texan! I live in Austin but did not go due to the late hour. Sounds like it was exciting! I found it ridiculous that they tried to use a moment of unsolicited kindness against her. That was really the only way they'd get her off the floor, of course. She was perfectly capable of staying on topic for 13 hours.

I never liked the pointless hate Texas got from other states, especially when they didn't realize I'm from Texas and would talk crap about Texans in front of me. The hypocrisy was painful at times.
eac
Jun. 27th, 2013 02:09 am (UTC)
"I never liked the pointless hate Texas got from other states, especially when they didn't realize I'm from Texas and would talk crap about Texans in front of me."

After 40 years of having a big mouth, I've had this habit knocked out of me. After a while, you have to realize that every state has extraordinary people in it, and every state has people (or governments) who do things you wish they hadn't. Generalizing about a whole population is rude, but it's also not true. I try to be extremely specific in my ranting.
rocketlaunching
Jun. 26th, 2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
Shared this on my Facebook, hope you don't mind. It needed to be said. I know how it feels to have those stupid x place sucks jokes, being from Boston and all. I think most of the Texas hate is just a holdover from the Bush era, but unwarranted nonetheless. We are ALL Americans, regardless of what state we live in.

Now if we could just get a bill to get Friday Night Lights back, that would be grand. :P
kita0610
Jun. 26th, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC)
I think this post explains a lot of the anger, misplaced as it may have been.

Together with your post, they tell a fairly amazing story of standing up to injustice. And being on the right side of history.

<3

Edited at 2013-06-26 08:21 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Jun. 26th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
(why is this my only Faith icon?)
Yeah, I don't need the anger explained to me, I just wish people would stop painting Texans with a white, Christian brush.

I have so many friends that got to be in the rotunda during the filibuster (Mexican-American women who work for the Education Department!) and we're all just glad that a more full story of who lives here and what he stand for is being told.

White dudes trying to control shit is everywhere. I for one am happy they're getting their toys taken from them and are being put in the time out chair. So to speak. :)
Re: (why is this my only Faith icon?) - kita0610 - Jun. 26th, 2013 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
ladycyndra
Jun. 26th, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
So keep your demeaning, belittling jokes about how backwards we are to yourself

THIS TIMES A TRILLION!!!
strtmyorange
Jun. 26th, 2013 11:03 pm (UTC)
Curse you, Stoney!! That's the third time I've been on the verge of the ugly cry in the last 24 hours!! You know, you're part of this group that proves they need to amend "Don't mess with Texas" to "Don't mess with Texas women!".

Edited at 2013-06-26 11:25 pm (UTC)
copykween
Jun. 27th, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
What a WILD RIDE that was last night! That's what the majority of my twitter feed was talking about last night AND today. I had to laugh, because I actually saw someone on my feed RT you last night. It was a weird LJ/twitter crossover moment. :)

Ugh, people trashing an entire state instead of directing their ire towards the pig-headed politicians trying to keep us all down = moronic.

sunnyd_lite
Jun. 27th, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
I was following this avidly last night, both the livestream & my twitter feed (May I follow you there?

As I was watching I was thinking of you and how proud you must be of this show of Texan determination (unfortunately both sides were determined, one had honour, the other was scared)

So glad that not only did it happen, not only did the Senate learn to tell time, but that the world was there to see it.

Yay for the best of Texas!
spikesjojo
Jun. 27th, 2013 02:33 am (UTC)
You have my sympathy. I live in Arizona, often called the meth lab of democracy. There are many progressive cities here - Tucson, Bisbee, Flagstaff, Sedona - but all we see is the assholes in PHNX.
beadattitude
Jun. 27th, 2013 01:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know there are more Stoneys and Ivins and Richards in Texas. My sister used to live there, afta all, when she was a young mommy. Some of it rubbed off on her.

I feel the same way about my home states of Georgia and South Carolina, where all we think or hear about these days are the mouth breathers, and thank god, Stephen Colbert.

Edited at 2013-06-27 02:26 pm (UTC)
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Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

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